“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
With fall comes a return to bible study in many churches. Is your church doing one of my Knit and Crochet Bible Studies? If so, thank you. And by the way, Iâ€™d love to hear what you and the participants thought about it. Please send a note to bearyann at knittingbiblestudy dot com (you know how to put all that together, and this way the mean cyber robots wonâ€™t grab my email and spam with it, I hope).
My biggest rule in being part of a Knitting and Crochet Bible Study is that there be no gossiping or back stabbing. Admit it, it is very easy, when gathered together relaxed and chitchatting, to slip into a little bit of husband bashing, child crushing and untold gossip. It tends to come almost naturally. We must make an effort to control our conversations. If I were to visit your meeting would I find, as Paul feared in 2 Corinthians 12:20 â€œFor I am afraid that when I come I many not find you as I want you to beâ€¦.I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.â€
Oh yes, our families are a joy in our lives, but occasionally they do get on the nerves. And sometimes it is good to discuss situations to help us understand a phase you are encountering. We must find a way to do it that is God honoring, not harmful or malicious toward the family member and does offer a help.
So what is is gossip? Proverbs 11:13 says â€œA gossip betrays a confidence.â€ In the same book, 16:28 reminds us â€˜gossip separates close friends.â€ Moving on to 26:20 â€œwithout gossip a quarrel dies down”.â€ If any of these are a result of the talk, it is gossip.
One of my biggest pet peeves I call â€˜gossip through prayerâ€™. I have seen it many times. The conversation starts like this, â€œI have a prayer request for my husband/neighbor/co-worker/etc, he has been (insert fault after fault after fault here) and you just need to pray that he will get right and do what he should. While we need to pray for one another, this manner just introduced a complaint about the husband. Be careful. Consider these 4 things before you speak:
- 1. Will the person be harmed or embarrased if it were known you spoke these words?
- 2. Will the words be God-honoring?
- 3. Are the words spoken in a repectful manner?
- 4. Have you prayed for this person yourself?
I want to encourage you when you ask for prayer, first get down on your knees daily before God. Do not make your prayer request the only time you approach God about the situation. Donâ€™t be like the hypocrites referred to in Matthew 6:5 that â€˜stand and pray on the street corner so their prayers may be seen by man.â€
Above all, enjoy your time together. I love how these groups are often multi-generational. This offers an opportunity to see life situations from different aspects. No matter what your age, you can model a Titus 2 woman.
1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate,worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young mento be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
It is my hope, no matter what bible study you participate in, that you open your heart to hear Him speak.
Stitched into His Hands,